Omokore Returns N200m to FG Following N247bn Probe
Mr. Jide Omokore, Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited, has returned N200m to the Federal Government as part of investigation into an $800m (N247bn) fraud.
This comes after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allegedly froze eight bank accounts allegedly belonging to the Energy mogul, Punch reports.
Omokore, a close ally of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, among five others including former NNPC boss Andrew Yakubu, are currently standing trial before a Federal High Court for fraud.
“During investigations, we traced about eight accounts to Omokore in Skye Bank. Most of the accounts are company accounts. Some were domiciled in Marina, Adeola Hopewell and some other branches on the (Lagos) Island.
“We were able to identify about N200m. He raised some bank drafts in the name of the Federal Government and the money has been deposited into the Federal Government account while investigations continue.”
The EFCC had on Monday, July 4, 2016, arraigned Omokore, and five others before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja on nine counts bordering on money laundering and procurement fraud.
According to the anti-graft agency, Omokore had allegedly manipulated the Strategic Alliance Agreement signed between the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited to swindle the government of billions of naira through the lifting of crude oil from some oil wells between March 2013 and May 2014.
The charge read in part: “That you, Olajide Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May 2013 and March 2014 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court obtained by false pretences and with intent to defraud, 7,551,867 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of $823,75,189.95 from NPDC, NNPC and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the false pretences that you had funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support the NPDC in petroleum operation for the OML 60,61, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act Cap. A6, 2010, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.